Nicola Bulley: Underwater forensics expert confident his team will find missing mother if she did fall into River Wyre
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Nicola Bulley, from Inskip, was last seen on a towpath by the River Wyre off Garstang Road at around 9.15am on Friday (January 27).
An extensive police search was launched following the 45-year-old's disappearance, but no trace of her has been found.
In the early hours of Monday morning (February 6), a private diving team arrived to sweep the River Wyre with state of the art equipment.
Forensic expert Peter Faulding, founder and chief executive of Specialist Group International, said he was confident his team would find Ms Bulley if she did fall into the River Wyre.
Speaking to reporters shortly after arriving at the scene, Mr Faulding said: “If Nicola is here, I’m happy we will find her, if she’s in the river.”
He said his specialist equipment, a high-tech sonar which will scan the riverbed, has a “very high hit rate”, adding: “I can find anything with that.”
“The clear evidence is the phone was by the river, the dog harness was by the river, so that’s their (the police’s) only clue at the moment and we’ve got to be allowed to eliminate this river, so we can either confirm or deny what’s in here today,” he said.
Mr Faulding said it was a “particularly long” stretch of river to search and that his team was bringing a “back-up resource” for the police.
He added: “If we can’t find her in the next three or four days in this river, if she’s not here, then I’m confident that she’s not in this stretch of river. I’d be very confident of that.
“We are going to be working our hardest, we’ll probably be working under darkness tonight for a while and that’s my intention to help the family.”
Emma White, who has known the mother-of-two for 10 years, hoped the team could provide answers to the police theory that Ms Bulley fell into the river.
Ms White told Radio 4’s Today programme: “The hypothesis is based on limited information – I’ve said before it’s a theory – and we sadly can’t base life on a theory.
“I came across one of the interviews with Peter Faulding, CEO of Specialist Group International.
“They’ve got expertise equipment and manpower and they search rivers in extreme detail, so the quest to bring Peter to St Michael’s began.”
On the reaction of Ms Bulley’s family, Ms White said her two young daughters are coping “remarkably well” but added: “They ask every day where Mummy is.”
Ms Bulley had dropped her two daughters, aged six and nine, off at school before going on her usual dog walk alongside the river.
Her phone, still connected to a team’s call for her job as a mortgage adviser, was later found on a bench atop a steep riverbank overlooking the water, along with the dog lead, with the dog harness on the ground.
Tragically police say they think she has fallen into the river, possibly while dealing with an issue with her springer spaniel Willow.
Anybody who has seen Nicola, or has information about where she might be, is asked to call 101, quoting log 565 of January 30.
For immediate sightings call 999.